Tag Archives: car batteries

car maintenance tips winter

Winter Car Maintenance: Top 6 Preps for Cold-Weather Driving

Winter car maintenance tips: Winter is tough on cars and trucks. If you live in San Diego, you don’t have to worry about preparing for cold weather, but the rest of us have to get our cars ready. Whether you’re a Uber driver, mom-taxi, commuter, or traveler, here’s our list of the top ways to prepare your car for Winter driving:

Top 6 Winter Preps for Your Car:

1. Change your Oil

Changing your oil might be the most important way to prepare your car for Winter. Be sure to use synthetic or conventional multi-grade viscosity oil for cold-weather driving.

Tip: Local garages often have coupons online for oil changes. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and performing an oil change yourself, top stores like Advance Auto have oil change specials saving you big on oil and filter bundles at their local store locations.

2. Test Your Battery

Winter weather puts car batteries to the test. Do you know how long your battery should last? A lot of people who bought off-brand batteries or tried to squeeze too many years of use out of their old batteries find out the hard way that their battery wasn’t ready for winter.

Tip: Get your car battery tested for free in the Fall at top stores like Advance Auto (free services) and AutoZone. If you need a new one, use one of our coupons for AutoZone or Advance Auto to save up to 30% on a new battery. These stores should also install your new battery for free.

3. Change Your Windshield Wipers

winter car preparation tips

Have you ever realized during the season’s first snow storm that your wipers are shot? It’s a terrible feeling to hear them squeaking while you crane your neck, hunched-over squinting out the clear part of the windshield at the snow and slush. Free wiper installation is another free service of top automotive stores Advanced Auto, AutoZone, and Pep Boys.

Tip: Be sure that your windshield wiper fluid is rated for extremely cold temperatures. That really cheap blue wiper fluid that most people use is fine most of the time, but when temperatures drop below freezing, it actually can freeze solid in your lines, rendering your wipers useless.

*Tip: Learn how to change your windshield wipers

4. Check Your Antifreeze

The radiator in your car cools your engine and needs antifreeze to work. If necessary, you should add more antifreeze or perform a flush and fill. Here’s how to check your antifreeze level.

*Related: Tax tips for Uber & Lyft drivers

5. Perform an Engine Tune-Up

Have a technician at a trusted local garage or auto shop evaluate the condition of your spark plugs to ensure that your engine is going to fire up and perform on cold Winter days.

Tip: Tune ups can be expensive! I recommend checking coupons for local garages that might be in Valpak, SpinSaver, Groupon, or other local mailings and websites. If you find a good one, check online reviews to make sure it’s a trusted location that customers are happy with.

6. Prepare a Winter Survival Kit

“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”

You should always have a survival kit in your car for the unexpected. Your survival kit should include:

  • A flashlight
  • Blankets
  • Road flares
  • Jumper cables
  • First Aid Kit
  • A roll of duct tape (No, not to keep the kids quiet!) 

Also, sometimes you can’t prevent the unexpected, so know how to jumpstart a car. For more tips, read our article on how to prepare your own emergency survival kit for your car.

Winter Is Tough on Cars & Trucks

Winter cold and salt can be a nightmare for your car. If you perform the aforementioned maintenance tips, you’ll be prepared for the Winter months.

How Long Do Car Batteries Last? How To Tell If It’s Bad + When to Replace

How to tell if car battery is bad, how long it should last: Your car’s battery is one of those things you don’t think about much until something goes wrong. If you’ve ever left your lights on accidentally and drained your battery, you know what an awful feeling it is to be stranded with a dead car.

Most car owners know how important the battery is to their car’s lifespan, but few are aware of when the right time to change the battery is, because (like determining how long your brakes will last) there isn’t a set time frame for how long a car battery should last.

For most drivers, a car battery should last three years or more, but there isn’t any way to know what end of the scale your battery will fall on until it starts to show signs of aging. For that reason, it’s important to pay attention to what your car and your battery are telling you.

Corrosion: a sign your car battery is dying:

One of the easiest signs of how to tell if a car battery is bad is the presence of corrosion on the battery itself. Even though batteries require acid in order to function properly, they don’t corrode around the cables unless there’s a sign of a leak. Not only is car battery corrosion terrible for your battery, but it’s also a major problem for your car.

If the acid leak is able to mess with the metal that makes up your battery, you can imagine what it’s doing to the other parts of your car that you need to function properly in order to drive. If left untreated, that corrosion can cause a major problem for the rest of your car, causing you to have to return to your auto mechanic for a repair that you could have avoided.

how long car batteries last

How to tell if a car battery is bad: Slow engine crank

Unfortunately, there aren’t always visible signs your car battery is dying, so it’s important to pay attention to any sign of trouble when you attempt to start your car. If you’re having trouble getting the car to start in the morning (engine doesn’t rollover quickly on first attempt) and it’s not a particularly cold day, that’s a sign that you almost certainly have a battery problem. A weak or dying battery might make the car sound like it’s struggling to start up.

Also, f you can’t get any lights to turn on fully in the car when you turn the key, the battery is almost surely the culprit.

Even if the car ends up starting after a few cranks, you don’t want to push your luck. One instance means that it’s time to start checking around to see how much car batteries cost (see below) and planning your budget appropriately. A second instance within a short time frame means that your waiting period has expired. When that happens, you need to test or replace your battery as soon as possible.

The last thing you want to have happen when you’re trying to figure out when to replace a car battery is to discover that you waited too long to replace the battery and you’re stranded with a car that won’t start.

Sign you need to replace your car battery: Low battery fluid level

Looking at the battery is also important because it shows you the fluid that you have inside the battery, which is one of the most vital parts of the battery’s life span. If you can’t see the fluid in the battery’s translucent case, (if the fluid is visibly below the lead plates inside) that’s a sure sign that your battery is living on borrowed time, and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to purchase a new battery to keep your car moving.

Another sign: Your Battery or “Check Engine” Light Is On

This seems like it would be an obvious message that you need to replace your battery, but think of it more as a hint. If your dashboard lights up with a battery symbol, take it to a mechanic right away. They can determine what part of your electrical system is the problem and causing the battery light to go on. Keep in mind that it’s not always your battery’s fault! 

A good battery should last 3-5 years

vintage pin up car girl holding wrench wearing heelsFinally, sometimes you simply get an excellent battery that features a long life and shows no signs of problems even through its third year. If you don’t live in an area with harsh seasonal climates and driving conditions or put a lot of miles on your car, your battery should last longer.

Good batteries have warranties of at least 3 years, and upwards of 5 years. 

What if it’s been 3 years since you’ve had your car’s battery replaced? You don’t need to replace a battery that has never had a sign of an issue, but you should take an older battery in to get tested by a trusted mechanic. If you have an AutoZone, Pep Boys, or Advance Auto Parts store near you, they will check your battery for free. It just takes a few minutes, and if your battery is shot, they can also quickly replace it for you. After being stranded recently when my car wouldn’t start in a strip mall parking lot, I also recently learned that they will test your car battery for free at most of those Bulbs & Batteries stores. Who knew!?

A full test by any qualified mechanic will let you know if your battery’s good fortune is likely to continue and help you decide whether a new car battery is something that you should plan for sooner rather than later. If the problem isn’t your battery, they’ll also be able to test your electrical system including your car’s starter and alternator.

How much do car batteries cost?

how much car battery costFirst of all, get a good brand name car battery like Autocraft or Duracell, even though it costs more. You should plan on spending about $100-150 total to replace a car battery, and don’t try to save $30 by getting something cheap!

If you aren’t leaving your old battery, some automotive stores, including Advance Auto Parts, will add on what’s called a core charge,” of an extra $20 or so. This is a policy that encourages the recycling and proper disposal of old batteries, as they are filled with lead and acid, and nasty things to just throw in a landfill or field!

If you place your order online at advanceautoparts.com, you can get the core charge refunded if you bring the old battery along with your receipt, to your nearest store location. They also have deals in their monthly flyer and online coupons for up to 30% off site-wide including batteries, although you’ll have to pick it up in-store.

AutoZone has an ongoing 20% off $100 coupon code, but once again, you’ll probably have to choose in-store pickup due to safety regulations with the mail.

Plan ahead; don’t wait until your car battery dies to replace it!

No matter what your car battery’s situation is, it’s never something to be ignored. If your battery does die on you, it’s going to cause some serious problems for you on the day it happens. When you’re trying to decide when to replace a car battery, it’s always best to be proactive and have your solution ready to go, rather than waiting for disaster to happen.

jump start dead car battery

How to Jump Start a Car: Connecting Jumper Cables, FAST & EASY!

How to jump start a car – Is there anything worse than realizing you’ve got a dead car battery? Unless you enjoy the exercise associated with pushing your car to the nearest gas station, it’s a good idea to carry jumper cables, and to know how to jump start your car!

How to jump start a car with jumper cables

how to jump start car diagram

When jump-starting a car yourself. Remember to always have a good set of jumper cables in the car, as this happens to the best of us. Here’s how to jump it:

  • First park your working car next to the one with the dead battery (not touching)
  • Shut off the ignition, lights, radio, and anything else that might use the power (including any dvd player. Also disconnect anything that might be charging, like a phone.)
  • Get the jumper cables
  • connect the red positive clamp to the dead battery’s positive post (has a “+” plus sign)
  • connect the other red clamp to the good battery’s positive post
  • Make sure that the cables aren’t dangling into the engine, where they can get caught or tangled on moving parts
  • Connect the first black negative clamp to the working car’s negative battery terminal
  • Connect the other black clamp onto any unpainted metal surface on the dead car’s engine
  • Start the working car, and idle a couple of minutes
  • Start the dead car
  • Once it’s running, disconnect the cables in reverse order, and run or drive for at least 10 minutes (while listening to song, “Jump Start My Heart,” by Natalie Cole?)

Here’s printable instructions of how to jump start your car:

jump starting your car

It’s not a bad idea to make a little card to remember the order in which you connect the cables. In fact, we just made one above that you can click on and print out for your glove compartment.

It’s also a good idea to consider a portable jump starter in your car, but you’ll have to charge it every few months. Ever wonder how long car batteries last? That’s helpful knowledge, too.

Thanks for visiting mightyautoshop.com, where we post the best deals that we can find for automotive parts online, as well as helpful how-to videos like this one showing you how to jump a dead car. Please see out coupons for up to a 40% discount on auto parts like new batteries!

7 Best Free Services: In-Store at Advance Auto Parts

free auto services Free Services Available In Advance Auto Parts Stores – So, anytime the word “free” is used, either online or off, I’m immediately skeptical. Usually the “free” item in question requires some other kind of purchase, which means that it isn’t free at all.

Personally, at best I think the word “bonus” is more appropriate in most cases. Like how the hotel I just stayed at for $250 a night gave me “free WIFI,” or how Weight Watchers Online offers “free signup” when you pay to join for 3 months. Vistaprint offers free business cards when you pay double for shipping. That’s not really free.

Anyway, I recently saw that Advance Auto was listed as one of the “best stores for free services,” so I thought I’d look into it. So, what will they give you for free? You might be surprised, but here are the highlights:

free services advance auto parts

Free services including loaner tools and battery test

  • free battery testingFree Battery testing: They say to get a new battery every few years, but they don’t exactly give you a countdown before they die. Go to any APP store, and they will test your battery for free
  • Free Electrical Testing: This Includes your starter & alternator, so if you are having any issues starting your car, they cover all the bases at the same time for free
  • Free Wiper Installation w/ Purchase: OK, so it requires that you buy something. Let’s call this a nice bonus. Last time I installed my own windshield wipers, it took me over 20 minutes!
  • Free Battery Installation & Recycling: Not only do they offer discount prices and coupons for their car batteries, but you can get a new one installed for free. Leave your old battery and they will recycle it for free. Usually garages will charge you a an extra fee of about $5 for that.
  • Free Oil Recycling: If you perform your own oil changes, you’ll know that you can’t exactly pour that stuff down the sink. Just take it to their store and they will dispose of it for you. They also have oil change specials in-store that save you up to $20 on new oil and filters
  • free loaner toolsFree Loaner Tools: Really!? There is no use buying a tool that you only use once every two years. Just leave a deposit, and you can borrow their tools for free. Even crazy stuff like spring compressors and specialized pullers
  • Free in-store pickup: Need parts now? The best promo codes for Advance Auto are online only, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them. Order anything online, and specify in-store pickup to get it immediately. (30 minutes)
  • Free Advice: From ASE certified DIY professionals. You can’t get that at most stores. I asked someone at Home Depot a question about the blueberry bushes they were selling, and I may as well have asked them for help with my Irish step dancing techniques

So, to summarize, these are some great, free automotive services available in your neighborhood, helpful to everybody who has a car or motorcycle.

Advance Auto Parts Batteries: Coupon for a 30% Discount

car battery coupons advance auto

advance auto parts logoBattery Coupon: Advance Auto Parts One of the most popular parts that Advance Auto sells are their top of the line batteries from brands like Optima. If you order online, you can specify in-store pickup, and they will even install it & recycle your old battery for free!

Here’s an overview of Optima batteries, and which is right for you:

“You make a grown man cry. Ride like the wind at double speed. I’ll take you places that you’ve never, never seen. Start it up!” – Start Me Up, The Rolling Stones

How do you know if your car battery needs to be replaced?

Nothing can ruin your day quite like a dead car battery. There is never a good time for it to happen, but at least in most cases it’s preventable. Batteries should be replaced about every 4 years, but there are a number of variables, and things to look for. (Here is a good article that answers that question.) Just stop by your local store and get your car or truck battery tested for free anytime. Then take advantage of their battery sale and use a coupon code at checkout, and have them recycle your old battery for free. Here are a couple of tips for deciding if you need a new one:

Why should you get a battery from Advance Auto?

First of all, if you aren’t sure whether you need a new battery, stop by your closest store, and they will test it for free. If you need one, use an online promo code, and pick it up at your store, where they will install your battery for free, and recycle your old one at no cost. Although they don’t offer printable coupons for replacement batteries, you can pickup in-store. To see if they are having a battery sale at your location, check their monthly flyer.

car battery auto store promotion

What are Advance Auto Parts’ Battery Brands?

Advance Auto Parts features both Autocraft batteries for cars and trucks, (Economy, Silver, or Gold) as well as Optima car batteries. They also have Autocraft marine batteries and batteries for power sports and lawn and garden.

Optima Batteries: Red Top, Yellow Top, or Blue Top

optima car batteryOPTIMA batteries are high performance car batteries designed to deliver maximum starting power. They are known for their extreme resistance to common causes of battery failure and are ideal for cars, trucks, SUV’s luxury cars, hot rods, and off-road vehicles. Their SPIRALCELL technology provides 15 times the vibration resistance of a typical car or truck battery. Use the coupons on our site for an extra 30% discount.

Thanks for visiting mightyautoshop.com, where we post the best deals on car batteries from brands like Optima and Autocraft, and auto parts discounts from the best stores online. Use a coupon above for a great deal today.